Thursday, April 28, 2011

What am I getting myself into?

W needs a weighted blanket. Weighted blankets are effing expensive (think $120+ for the size and weight we need). Supplies for weighted blankets are relatively cheap (somewhere in the area of $45). Blanket sewing is not overly complicated. I have minimal sewing skills. Martha Stewart I am not, but I figured I could handle this.

I finally got the last of the supplies in the mail today and started looking into how to sew binding to the edge of the blanket. I think I'm getting in over my head. First of all, I read several binding tutorials, and every single one of them contained sewing words I am unfamiliar with. Second, none of them really included pictures. I'm not usually a visual learner, but these instructions are all dense and convoluted, and some illustrations would have been helpful. Despite all the reading, I still have no idea how I'm going to bind the edges of this blanket that will be stuffed full of poly pellets.

I'm hoping to get the blanket done this weekend. This is going to be a disaster.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Yesterday was A DAY

Man, yesterday was A Day. It started out promisingly enough...I apparently got up when my alarm went off and reset it to a wholly unacceptable wake-up time, and then W woke up and started screaming to be let out of his room the second I set foot in the shower.

After getting W out of his room, setting him up with a sippy of milk and some toddler TV, and getting my hair and make-up done, I went to get R up. When I opened his door, his room smelled, so I assumed he pooped overnight. I was wrong. I went to pick him up, and he (and his crib. And room) was covered in barf. Awesome.

I got R cleaned up and called in to work. I was hoping it was just something he ate last night, but he quickly came down with a fever and threw up several more times. He also started screaming every time I put him down. Awesome.

I was fighting my way through the morning with the assistance of Sprout, though it wasn't working too well. W still wanted my undivided attention, and didn't seem to understand the whole "R feels yucky and needs to sit on Mommy's lap" line of reasoning.

I then headed to the bathroom only to discover that I started my period. Yup, after 636 days without a visit from my lovely Aunt Flo, she decided to make an appearance this day. And she has made her appearance with a vengeance. Awesome.

As I was trying to beg clear liquids off of my lovely neighbor, Michelle, she suggested I call the doctor's office because some really nasty bugs are going around. So I did. And they wanted to see us fairly soon. In a city a half an hour away.

Quick aside: keeping nothing but milk, Diet Coke, and booze in the house doesn't work so well when you have a kid with a stomach bug.

In the middle of all my rushing around to get the boys and myself ready to go, the freaking tornado sirens go off. I decided to ignore them because I don't have time to go hide out in the basement. I switch on the weather (amid screams because I turned off Caillou) and discovered that we would be driving directly into the storm to get to the doctor's office. Awesome.

I ended up getting lucky and didn't have to drive through all the crap. About halfway to the doctor's office, however, I realized that we were solidly into the lunch hour and I hadn't fed the toddler. I also realized that the baggie of cheerios and the single pack of fruit snacks in my diaper bag weren't going to substitute for lunch. So, I do what any good mother would do and pull into the nearest McDonald's. While there, I get stuck in a non-moving drive-through line. By the time enough people leave so I can also leave, I've spent more time than I had sitting in line. Nothing is happening, so I take off. On the way past one of the service windows - which, coincidentally, you can't even remotely see from the ordering place - I see a sign that says "Sorry no power." The stop light right in front of the restaurant had power, so I never gave a thought to why the line wasn't moving. Luckily for me, W was asleep by the time we got back on the road, so I wouldn't have to worry about feeding him until later.

We continue on to the doctor, naturally arriving late. I find out as we're being ushered into the exam room that we have the doctor who is nice, but always makes me feel like an idiot for bringing my kid in for an exam. Case in point: after a couple of weeks of the daycare ladies mentioning to me that R was pulling at his ear (which he was doing because he was teething), I take him to the Saturday morning walk-in clinic for a check. I figure it's from teething, but there's a remote possibility that it's an ear infection, and I know daycare will get off my back if the doc says no ear infection. I tell this doc when he walks in that R either has an ear infection or is teething. Two minutes later, R is diagnosed with teething pain, and I'm given a slightly condescending chat about the signs of ear infections. I know the signs of ear infections. He knows I know the signs of ear infections. I have two kids who both had chronic ear infections and both have tubes. Additionally, because they both have tubes, when they get infections these days, goop leaks out of their ears.

Anywho, R is examined and is diagnosed with a stomach bug. But not before the doc makes me feel like an ass for bringing him in, even though IT WAS A NURSE AT HIS PRACTICE WHO TOLD ME TO BRING R IN. We're sent home with instructions to take it easy on the food and wait it out.

By the time we make it home, we're most of the way through nap time. W slept for a total of 20 minutes in the car and had no interest in going back down. R slept for maybe 40 minutes and needed far more, but woke up every time I even thought about putting him down. It was at this point that B came home. And the angels sang.

Things generally improved after that. I took W to the store to pick up some motrin for R, and we about had a serious meltdown situation, but that was it. Thankfully. It was just one of those days, and I'm so glad it's over.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Self-imposed solitary

I'm a talker. Not necessarily in the sense that I talk a lot, but in the sense that I NEED to talk about stuff to process. For whatever reason, I've been completely shutting myself off from my support system and digging myself deeper and deeper into the morass that is my life because I'm not letting anyone help me out.

Take the situation with my BFF, for example. I saw her a couple of weeks ago for the first time since October. In the six months between visits, I managed to not return calls, take days or weeks to respond to e-mails, and completely forget about her birthday. For a whole week. We had about half an hour alone together during our whirlwind visit, and I managed to give her a pretty good nutshell summary of the shit that's been going on with me for months. After I got it all out, she just looked at me and said, "Why didn't you call me?"

I didn't have a good answer for her. The best I could come up with is that I don't want to be a burden to my friends. I feel like I'm a lead weight slowly sinking to the bottom of the ocean with no hope of seeing the surface ever again. I don't want to drag the women I love most in the whole world down there with me. No point in all of us drowning, right?

Because my BFF is my BFF, she told me I'm being stupid and I can absolutely talk to her about anything and everything without having to worry about being a burden. Which I know. It's one of those things that I know intellectually, but can't quite make myself believe. I'm pretty sure all of my good friends would feel the same way if I had this conversation with them.

The thing is, as much as I need to talk and process to start getting my life back in order, I just can't make myself do it. I've shared a lot on this blog in the past three years, but there are a lot of things that I haven't shared. These are things that I haven't told anyone. Not you, not my mom, not my BFF, not my college roommate, not my friend down the street. Until a couple of months ago, I hadn't even told them to my counselor - the one person who knows me and all my neuroses, but knows no one else in my life she might share my inner self with.

I think part of the problem is fear. I know what my friends are going to say to me, and maybe, just maybe, I don't really want to face up to those truths. I know I need to, but I just don't wanna. Instead, I put myself in solitary confinement - 23 hours a day locked in my little cell and only limited interaction with others on my hour off.

I'm truly afraid I'm doing irreparable harm to my friendships. I'm not the friend I need and want to be right now. I barely talk to my best friend from law school, my college roommate, or my good friends who live in different states. I ignore facebook messages from friends who want to get together. I give up trying to make plans after a few feeble back-and-forth e-mails. It takes me days to return phone calls, if I ever return them at all. I forget birthdays and anniversaries. I'm not the strong support for friends in crisis that I usually am (or try to be, anyway).

Unfortunately, I don't know what to do to fix this. There are days and weeks when I make some effort, but it tends to fall flat. All I can come up with to make me better is drugs and lots of them, but even that hasn't been working much lately. So I stay in my tiny cell where the walls are closing in and threatening to crush me.

No wonder solitary confinement is a punishment-of-choice in prison. It does a number on a person's will.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Flash photography is the devil

I bought a pretty sweet Groupon months ago for a photography session and prints. Despite my best efforts and intentions, we just finally got around to using it last night.

The results were disastrous.

A couple of W's doctors/therapists have mentioned to me that flickering lights (like fluorescent lights) can cause his little brain to go into overdrive. Apparently flashing lights (like, oh, I don't know...a camera flash) do the same thing. We got about five shots in before he went all crazy on us and refused to sit still.

Quick aside - I'm pretty sure the photographer and his assistant think we are the worst parents EVER and are raising an awful little shit of a kid who should probably be heavily medicated. I'm a bit concerned that this is the impression we give off quite frequently when we're in public.

But back to the pictures. W's crazies and inability to stay in one place for more than approximately three seconds gave us lots of pictures like this...


...and this...


...and mostly this...


At least R was perfect and adorable, like always.


And we got a (as in one, singular) shot of the boys together. Bonus points because it was cute.


Here's the best family shot we managed to get, which is sad, considering that W looks like someone stepped on his puppy and R looks bored out of his mind.


But this next picture is the one that I think really captures the essence of our day-to-day family life.


Apparently getting a nice family picture is just far too much to ask. Even though the Groupon deal was sweet, it ended up being a colossal waste of my money.

Next time we decide to do pictures, we're doing them outdoors - no flash required.

(All images courtesy of Oz Digital).

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bachelorette magic

Something magical happens to me when I go to bachelorette parties. I don't know what it is or why it happens, but something about the bachelorette atmosphere makes me capable of both drinking like I did in college AND recovering like I did in college. Last night's party was no exception.

I had so freaking much fun going back to my college town for a night out. There were about 15 of us, most of whom went to undergrad there, and the nostalgia was flowing freely. I think everyone got to go to their favorite bar for their favorite drink (I was so excited for my Junction Punch...it's been far too long since I've had one). We also all enjoyed how damn cheap alcohol is in college towns. I spent far less than I anticipated last night. I got dinner, a couple of shots, a round of drinks, and post-bar pizza (oh, Goodfellas, how I miss you!) for $30. Thirty bucks!

Man, I miss college.

Here are a few gems from the evening:
  • Even without getting totally slutted up, I must have looked younger than my years last night. Either that, or all the guys we talked to were trying to get in my pants. I'm guessing it's the former.

  • Apparently a girl covered in penis paraphernalia = birthday party. The bride-to-be got a ridiculous amount of birthday wishes last night. I get that some people wear crowns on their 21st birthdays, but do any of them wear penis veils, have penis-shaped name tags, or use penis straws? I kinda doubt it.

  • If you are a drunk 24-year-old who can't control his boner while in public, please go find someone else to "dance" with and rub your junk on. I didn't really appreciate that.

  • When did it become socially acceptable for girls to go out to the bars in their pajamas/sweats? Seriously. No one in our group was super dressed up, and we were better dressed than 85% of the girls we saw out. About 5% of the girls looked like hookers (not college-girls-going-out-to-the-bars-type hookers, but actual, legitimate hookers), and the remaining 10% were dressed "appropriately." When did that happen?

  • My new nickname is Curly-Q. This came from the same guy who called my BFF a shitbag for refusing to have a race to see who could finish their (highly potent) drink first.

  • Boys bought me drinks! That's good for an old girl's ego.

  • If you're going to lie about going to law school, don't do it to a lawyer. A lawyer will know you're lying when the two schools you say you were accepted to DON'T EVEN HAVE LAW SCHOOLS! Also, I went to the same undergrad school as this guy. I think I would have been aware that my undergrad had opened a law school. Particularly when there are already 49,752,984,375 law schools in Ohio. What makes this story even better is that I had already told him that I'm a lawyer when he started spouting off about where he's going to school. Even when I called him on it, he kept lying. I was thisclose to whipping out my phone to prove to him that he was full of shit, but it was closing time and we were being kicked out.

  • Seeing women using penis-shaped straws does something to guys. The number of lascivious looks thrown our way was astounding.

  • You know you're getting old when three of the five women sharing a hotel room come back from the bars and have to pump before they pass out.
The best part of the weekend was getting to have a little bit of quality time with my BFF. I love her. And I miss her terribly. The second best part was getting away from all the boys for a night and getting to (mostly) pretend I'm still young and fun.

Our theme for the evening was "I LOVE ATHENS!!!!" (yelled in loud, obnoxious voices, naturally), And it's so true. I love my college town and I love my college friends. It was good to see them all.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The glamourous life of a lawyer

Here's a brief summary of what I did at work today:
  • Discussed chronic intestinal diseases (and their potential effect on jury service) with a juror.

  • Printed and collated approximately one million copies of jury instructions, each set with a few slight differences.

  • Accompanied my smoking jurors on a cigarette break.

  • Crawled around on the courtroom floor trying to fix some technology issues.

  • Stood watch outside the public bathroom door while jurors used the facilities.

  • Stocked a refrigerator.

  • Filled coffee cups and delivered sweet, sweet caffeine to two other lawyers.

  • Got an emergency call from the jury room about toilet malfunctions.

  • Spent far more time looking for and shepherding people around than any adult not responsible for toddlers should have to.
As one of the security guards said to me when I went to handle the jury room toilet issues, I went to law school for this?

I shouldn't bitch, though. I love my job. This particular trial has just been extremely draining and exhausting. I'll be so glad when it's over tomorrow (and I go out to get blitzed with the prosecutor).

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Basement purge

I have been trying forever to get rid of all of our baby crap that both boys have outgrown. It hasn't been in the cards, though, because everyone in my circle keeps having girls. Everyone. The last boy born to someone I know was...well...R. But finally, FINALLY, a boy has come along. My cousin and his wife are having a boy in June. And they came to our house today to take away some of our baby stuff.

We started out the day with five and a half garbage bags of clothes ranging from newborn to 9 months. And a bag of bibs and burp rags. And another bag of toys and gear. And several large pieces of baby crap. We ended with probably three bags of clothes, two swings, a car seat, a bouncy seat, and almost all of the bibs and burp rags. Oy.

Even though they didn't take as much as I was hoping, it was nice to clear out a whole section of my basement. Now I just need to find another sucker new parent who needs some extra stuff. We have lots of it.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Things I've learned

In the past week, I've learned the following fun tidbits:
  • The more specialized the health care provider, the more paperwork you're required to fill out before an appointment.

  • Specialized specialists are not only hard to get an appointment with (we're talking five to six months), but they're kind of assy, too.

  • Weighted blankets are mother effing expensive.

  • My county apparently sucks at life when it comes to early intervention services. I shouldn't be surprised.

  • The promise of copious amounts of booze goes a long way toward making an highly unbearable work project slightly more bearable.

  • I should listen to my counselor when she tells me to be in bed by 10:00 every night.

  • I should probably cut back on my Diet Coke consumption. But I just don't want to.

  • It's starting to seem slightly impossible to both have a full-time job and tend to a "special" child's constant string of appointments.

  • I'm sleepy. Always.

  • Forgetting a (best) friend's birthday will make you feel like the biggest asshole ever.

  • I'm apparently too old to be going to bachelorette parties. I have no idea how to dress myself for one anymore. I don't know what I can wear that is 1). age-appropriate, 2). bachelorette-party-appropriate, 3). mother-appropriate, and 4). college-town-appropriate. I want to wear a pair of fuck me heels, but I don't own any of those any more. Man, I'm old.

  • There are still doctors' offices out there that don't accept insurance. Yep, you read that correctly. They DO. NOT. ACCEPT. medical insurance.

  • It's sort of validating when people start recognizing issues you've seen all along.

  • When someone really, really doesn't want to do something, they'll find ways out of it. Sometimes those methods are creative. Sometimes they're blatant. Sometimes they're insidious. But they all result in the hard work not being done.
Don't you just wish you could spend a week in my life?